Objective: Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene are divided into mild and severe (mGBA, sGBA) based on their contribution to the phenotype of Gaucher disease (GD) among homozygotes. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients carrying mutations in the GBA gene to better characterize genotype-phenotype correlations.
Methods: Patients underwent a comprehensive assessment of medical, neurological, cognitive and non-motor functions. Data from these patients was explored to evaluate differences in disease phenotype based on genotype.
Results: A total of 355 PD patients participated in this study; 152 idiopathic PD patients, 139 mGBA, 48 sGBA and 16 GD-PD. Groups were similar in age, sex, years of education and age of onset. Both sGBA and GD-PD had higher Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores (p = 0.041), higher frequencies of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) (p = 0.022) and hallucinations (p < 0.0001) compared to the other groups of patients. sGBA experienced more non-motor symptoms (p < 0.0001), depression (p < 0.001) and worse hyposmia (p = 0.010). Trail making test was significantly longer in GD-PD followed by sGBA, mGBA and iPD (p = 0.005).
Discussion: Motor, cognitive, olfactory and psychiatric symptoms are more severe in sGBA and GD-PD compared to mGBA and iPD, reinforcing the notion that the severity of the PD phenotype is related to the severity of the mutation in the GBA gene.
Keywords: GBA; Parkinson's disease.
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